The Family Meal – Friday, June 30th, 2017

Hello Friday,

Lots to cover before the holiday weekend, but one quick reminder first: If you’re getting this as a forward, sign up for yourself at

That’s it. Done. Let’s get to it…

Job opening – “After 11 years as president of the James Beard Foundation, Susan Ungaro has announced that she will step down. Her term will end on Dec. 31, giving the foundation about six months to find a replacement.” The NYT has that story, but other outlets are also linking to pages 7 and 8 of the foundation’s latest tax return, which lists Ungaro’s base salary at $350k. Nice work if you can get it. Go get it.

APRN – Meal-kit delivery startup Blue Apron went public yesterday, and in an IPO that had already seen a price revision downward (after Amazon announced it was buying Whole Foods), not much happened. Investors bought shares for $10, the price briefly touched $11, and at time of writing you can get a piece of the action for around $9.40 (live price here). Meh. Bloomberg thinks the mediocre showing means Blue Apron may actually have to raise money again ASAP…

Ouch – You would think a big new Eater article that starts out by calling David Bouhadana “the most aggressively cool sushi chef in New York City,” would be a good article for David Bouhadana. You would be wrong. Author Serena Dai goes on to argue that via a fake Japanese accent – “he might present a fish in English… and then follow it up with ‘dericious, dericious’” – “Bouhadana is embedding racist behavior into the experience of dining at his restaurant [Sushi By Bou].” The chef argues back, but it doesn’t do him any favors…

Make a plan? – “The co-owner of a dockside Baltimore restaurant has revealed that nearly his entire kitchen staff resigned after an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent demanded their papers in the latest example of the national debate over immigration.” Per the full Washington Post story, that’s about 30 employees gone from the BoatHouse Canton. Ugh.

Keep this line in your back pocket: “They were, Singleton told The Washington Post, ‘some of the best citizens we have.’”

Stage Report – After last week’s story in the Seattle Times about the Labor Dept. cracking down on unpaid stage programs like the one at Willows Inn on Lummi Island, the SF Chronicle is out with a follow up piece on pros and cons of the practice, with comments from Roland Passot (La Folie), James Shyabout (Commis), and David Barzelay (Lazy Bear). Key Point: “[A] spokesman for the San Francisco office of the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division said that his office has received no complaints about Bay Area restaurants, but refused to answer further questions.”

As for Bay Area restaurants with 3 Michelin stars: “Saison requires a one-year commitment from stagiaires, but pays them. The Restaurant at Meadowood pays stagiaires either a wage or a stipend; The French Laundry said it ‘work(s) diligently to ensure compliance to all state and federal employment laws.’ Manresa, Benu and Quince all declined to comment.”

This Family Meal is brought to you by Devoured, a new food recycling service supporting restaurants and foodservice businesses. Devoured provides food waste composting services, supports food donation program implementation, and helps restaurants with their waste and recycling needs. Be a part of the national food waste conversation. Visit Devoured on twitter to follow their new graphic adventure (@_Devoured_).  

Settling Down in LA – Via Eater LA, “It looks like Top Chef star Nyesha Arrington isn’t going to be living the nomad life for long, after her name was spotted as part of a deal at the former Santa Monica Yacht Club space.”

Ari Taymor Confessional – “A few weeks ago, I walked away from opening a new restaurant. Everything about it was perfect. The location was dreamy… The investors were young, creative and enthusiastic. The creative team was incredible… The problem was me.” A must read in LA Weekly for anyone grappling with the pressure.

Some sad news – In D.C., “Jeffrey Gildenhorn, the owner of the American City Diner and a former mayoral candidate, is dead at 74…. [He] died after choking during a meal at the Palm.” Story in the Washington Post.

For Design Fans – Accurate headline: “Gold Drips Down the Walls at Robin, Hayes Valley’s New Sushi Spot.” (Here’s a bonus mid-build pic for comparison.)

For $$$ Fans – Eater has published an actual, candid account of dollar by dollar spending on opening Robin, including how much they raised, and how much each aspect of the restaurant cost. Well worth a look, especially if you’re dreaming big.

For the Bar – Got craft beer expansion dreams? Russian River is selling its original brewing facility in Sonoma County. Buyer gets “a turnkey operation … capable of producing 20,000 barrels annually, depending on style mix…. Included in the sale is a 50-barrel brewhouse that the Cilurzos installed two years ago along with four 100-barrel and two 200-barrel fermentation tanks, two 200-barrel Brite tanks, a yeast brink, a wastewater treatment system and other pieces of brewery equipment. The facility also features six offices, a lab, a tasting room and a 580-panel rooftop solar system.”

For the Somm – “Wine executive Charles Banks was sentenced to four years in federal prison yesterday for defrauding retired NBA star Tim Duncan of millions of dollars.” Wine Spectator says his ownership of Mayacamas winery and the Terroir Life company are now in a bit of legal limbo.

Last and least – Happy Fourth of July Weekend! Here is a picture of Ludo Lefebvre posing in NYC while wearing cutoff jean shorts, black sneakers, black socks, and a chef jacket. (It makes me nervous that he tagged San Pellegrino and Bon Appetit What exactly are you guys up to?)

That’s it for today. Tuesday is the 4th, so I may take the day off. Or not. We’ll see. But I’ll definitely see you back here next week. Miss you already.

And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and send tips and/or advance proofs of Bon Appetit’s upcoming “Awkward / Sexy Chef Pics Calendar” to If you got this as a forward, sign up for yourself at!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s